On September 23, 2014, I accepted a proposal to adopt H and her youngest sister B!
I’m going to be a mom!
As mentioned briefly in my last post, it was decided that H would be better paired with her youngest sibling rather than the middle two. There were several reasons for this change.
One of them, and perhaps the most important one for me, is that the foster parents of the middle girls want to adopt them. They are in a happy, loving environment, with parents who want to love them forever. Why would anyone want to change that?
There were four sisters in total, aged 8, 7, 5, and 18 months old. In order to keep as much of the family together as possible, I will adopt H (8, nearly 9) with her youngest sister B (18 months). And we will remain in contact with the family who adopts their other two sisters.
When I had the conference call with H’s foster mom, guardianship worker, and my social worker, we talked about what everyone felt would be best for H – it was important to me to hear from those who currently know and love her. The overall consensus was that being with the youngest sibling would be a really good fit for her, and for her development.
She is very good with younger children and has a fascination with babies and playing “mom”. It brings out the nurturing, loving, compassionate, quiet side.
There may have been opportunity for competition for my time and affection between siblings of similar ages. Whereas the feeling was that a sibling who is so much younger will need different things from me and from life in general, and will likely cause less competition.
At first I was not so comfortable with this change, as mentioned in the post with an open heart I evolve because I didn’t know much about toddlers, and was why I had set my preferred adoption age range between 4-14 years old.
However, by the time the conference call came around I was open to adopting a toddler, and was ready for whatever was best for H and her sisters.
Since accepting the proposal for H and B I have connected with many moms of toddlers, all of whom welcomed me into their groups and have filled me to the brim with tips, tricks, and information on how to raise one!
This choice feels really good to me.
The spread in their ages has also become very appealing to me, and the fact that they will need different things from me on a day to day basis may actually be really good for us all as a family.
So now, I’m looking forward to getting to know H, who is a developing human being with her own ideas and thoughts and the ability to share those with me (with time, love and encouragement). It will be a privilege to be present to her as she demonstrates and communicates to me who she is now and who she wants to become.
I’m also looking forward to getting to know B as she begins to explore the world of words and understanding, and as she grows into her own person.
It will be a great honour to provide both girls with a stable, safe, love-filled, encouraging environment in which they can flourish and grow.
What I have noticed since accepting this proposal and talking about my impending adoption is that there seems to be no limit to the amount of community-wide support for toddlers.
Since mentioning to people the ages that I am adopting I have had an overwhelming response from moms of other toddlers inviting me to gatherings, offering clothing and other toddler type things, offering advice and suggestions, offering support or babysitting, and invitations to mom-baby groups.
A friend invited me to a pot-luck dinner for parents with toddlers so that I could get a feel for what it would be like to be around a child B’s age.
There were 6 toddlers present ranging from 14months to 20months. It was an interesting evening. None of the toddlers talked, although I was told that many of them can, and perhaps it was because all of their needs were being met by many doting adults. They played happily together and apart, and there were only two instances of tears and both times involved a fall. They all ate the same food the adults were eating too – this surprised me in a positive way. (I have a lot to learn!)
A couple of friends showed me the “ropes” as far as babies go. Interesting things such as, a “sleep sack” and the why behind using one, the usefulness of a change table, the Ergo baby carrier and the benefits of using one, the creams and medications and tiny little nail clippers that every mom should have. The foods that their kids love and how to prepare them (like cutting grapes or cherry tomatoes in half before giving them to a toddler…).
There were some things that did grosse me out a little. Such as this thing that you stick in their nose to suck out the snot… yikes! And I must admit that the thought of poopy diapers is still not terribly appealing…that will take some getting used to, and maybe even some practice as my baby changing skills are from over 20 years ago!
Everyone has been very reassuring that with love you can’t really go wrong and learning as you go is the “right” of every new mom. Each mom that I’ve spoken to has stories of their trial and error learning with their toddler – some of those stories were downright hilarious!
The thought of getting to see B emerge into the world from a place of limited words and expressions into a little human person with her own attitude will be quite amazing. And I’m feeling grateful for the opportunity.
I have also received some positive support options for H. I had a wonderful conversation with the Girl Guides leader in our town who expressed that the philosophy for learning and inclusion within the Girl Guides has helped many fostered and adopted kids develop their social and self-regulation skills.
She was very welcoming and confident about the support they could provide, and offered to “buddy” up H with her older daughter who is 11 years old.
It felt so good to connect with a parent who has had some experience with kids of H’s age and needs, and who was positive about helping her feel safe both within her new community, and within herself.
This mom and guide leader also offered support and her phone number to me in case I am struggling as a new mom when H is placed. That offer of support is so appreciated.
And while sometimes I feel scared that I won’t be enough for them, with not much more than love to give them, (and still no house for us all), it’s moments like these that make me feel that I’m on the right path, that I’m making the right choices, and that I can be the mom I want to be to these two precious little girls.
I feel so overwhelmingly grateful and blessed to have been chosen to be their mom.
As for their placement with me, a timeline has not been discussed since the conference call and the suggestion of October.
I do have to admit I expected more from the “saying yes” part – maybe streamers and balloons to be released from the ceiling above me (!), or at least some paperwork to sign showing that I want to become H & B’s mom. A written proposal maybe outlining what will happen now. Perhaps even a meeting to discuss the next steps!
And perhaps it is the lesson in patience that I most needed right now…?! 🙂
What I do know for sure is that the Universe will bring it all together in perfectly harmonious timing – including a home for us all please and thank you – and maybe we will be together before Christmas.
That would be the best gift of all 🙂
Warm smiles and Love,
Ali Jayne 🙂